South Africa’s real GDP contracted by 3.2%, quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted and annualised (q/q saar), in the first quarter of 2019 from 1.4% recorded in the previous quarter. Although this was below consensus expectations, our forecast was for an even bigger decline of some 5% q/q (saar). The GDP weakening was mostly due to a 13.2% (q/q saar) contraction in the agricultural sector and a 10.8% decline in mining. However, the data clearly reflect broad-based weakness in the economy, owing to low levels of confidence, bad economic policies and electricity supply disruptions.
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